- Leicester Square, the beating heart of entertainment in London, has so much for families to do that you’ll probably need to come back!
- Don’t miss out on the free movie-audio Walking Tour, where you can come face to face with some of your favourite characters and actors in cinema over the last century.
- Be sure to check out the LEGO store, even just marvelling at the giant LEGO installations is an experience in itself.
- Kids will love M&M's World, with M&M-related merch and of course, tons of chocolate.
Leicester Square is a cultural epicentre famous for its amazing entertainment, iconic global shops, and fantastic food. It exists to entertain, so it's perfect for families. There are a range of free things to do in London and paid for things to do for everyone to enjoy.
Looking for things to do in London? Leicester Square is known throughout the world as a cultural hub and the heart of London’s West End. The area and its surrounding vicinity welcomes over 2.5 million visitors each week. The area is home to some of the best shows and theatres that visitors can experience. You could even catch over 50 star-studded red carpet film premieres each year and maybe see your favourite actor walk by.
Your kids definitely won’t want to miss out on one of the largest children’s shops on the planet. LEGO's huge flagship store, which is also in front of M&M's World (you’ve been warned!) is an experience that the kids will never want to leave. Of course at the LEGO store there is shopping, but they also have epic installations and creations, including a giant Big Ben, a Tube carriage and a red phone box which are all, impressively, made of LEGO.
Leicester Square now offers a fabulous free Walking Tour. The whole family can rediscover the beautiful trail of Scenes in the Square statues with an official movie audio walking tour, which is a free, film-themed statue trail showcasing eight icons of cinema from the last century right in the cultural hub of London. The little ones will love scouring the buildings to try and find DC Super Heroes Batman and Wonder Woman, or laugh next Paddington and Mr Bean when they find them, and maybe even buddy up with Mary Poppins and Gene Kelley to duet with them.
Don’t miss out on the installations you’ll find along your way on the trail; these make the perfect picture. See how many you can find! On your journey you can check out all the theatres Leicester Square has to offer, like the Odeon Leicester Square, the Apollo Theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre, the Savoy Theatre and more.
Leicester Square restaurants are some of the best; you’ll experience a sensory overload of delicious food, whether that's enjoying simple family favourites or embracing the fine dining that London has to offer.
Be sure to visit Leicester Square during the winter months,where it’s transformed into a magical wonderland, wintry and frosty, full of Christmas lights. There are traditional Christmas market stalls with hand-crafted goods, a great selection of delicious food and drinks, and even a Santa's Grotto where you can meet Father Christmas. There are festive shows in the traditional 1920s-themed spiegeltent that surrounds the area.
Leicester Square is transformed during the spring and summer months, too. The Leicester Square Gardens are stunning, and well worth a picture; here you can make use of the outdoor seating at restaurants and enjoy the flowers and lush green grass as you watch street performers share their talents. As you're in a central, prime location, visit other nearby attractions like the Royal Academy of Arts and the London Transport Museum.
What to know before you go
- There are public toilets in nearby Trafalgar Square. There are toilets on Leicester Square but these aren't free to use, and often are closed. Alternatively, many private businesses, like shops, cafés and restaurants will have toilets, and they will have accessible facilities and baby-changing facilities too.
- Leicester Square can get very busy, so wheelchair and buggy navigation could be more difficult, but there are paths and flat ground which make it accessible.
- There’s plenty to eat and drink around Leicester Square. from family-friendly eateries, to budget-friendly places, and restaurants for those looking to spend that little extra. From Angus steak to Byron Burgers, to Busaba’s Thai food, Forrest Gump themed Bubba Shrimp, Bella Italia and more, there’s something for every tastebud.
- There are loads of bus routes in the area, including the 8, 10, 15, 23, 38, 73, 139, 176 and 390.
- Leicester Square Tube station is on the square, and serves the Piccadilly and Northern lines. Alternatively, Piccadilly Circus station (Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines) is a four-minute walk.
- The closest rail station is Charing Cross (also on the Bakerloo and Northern lines), which is around a six-minute walk.
- Other major rail stations aren't too far either, with Euston an 11-minute journey on the Northern line and Victoria 10 minutes away too, on the Victoria and Piccadilly lines via Green Park.
- Take the Leicester Square is accessible via Euston station (Northern line), Hyde Park (Piccadilly line), and from Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Central, Victoria lines).
- If travelling by car, there is parking that is available at Q-Park Leicester Square, which is located at 39 – 41 Whitcomb Street.